Jill DeLashmit

Jill DeLashmit

Jill DeLashmit, BSN, RN

Hospice
Phelps County Regional Medical Center
Rolla, Missouri
United States

It is my pleasure to recommend Jill DeLashmit, RN from the Home Health department for the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. During more than three years as a hospice chaplain, I have worked closely with Jill and have observed her outstanding clinical skills as the primary nurse for many hospice patients. Even more, Jill truly gives from her heart in supporting her patients and their families as they face all the emotional, physical and spiritual issues that arise during the end of life.
I would like to tell you about Jill’s relationship with one of our hospice patients, a 41-year-old woman from Waynesville who became a hospice patient in November of 2011. At that time, this patient had undergone more than six years of treatment for a brain tumor (chordoma) and had endured 10 surgeries and extensive chemotherapy and radiation. She had been told by her physicians at St. Louis University hospital that it was time for hospice care and had been moved to a nursing home because she required skilled nursing care that was beyond her mother’s ability to provide at home. The patient’s husband had died in an automobile accident 18 years earlier, leaving her to raise their baby daughter as a single mother. That daughter was 19 years old when her mother entered hospice care.
For the next 10 months, Jill worked tirelessly to give the best possible care for this patient and to offer loving support not only for the patient but for her mother and daughter. The patient had always been very independent prior to her illness. She found the transition to living in a nursing home (where she was much younger than the majority of patients) very difficult. Communication was made more complicated by the fact that the patient was unable to speak because of a trach, so she used a white board and markers to “talk.” Jill did an outstanding job of managing her care and of working with the nursing home staff, many of whom were often overwhelmed by the complex needs of this patient.
Jill went above and beyond her regular duties to try to help the patient have some control over her life. She always treated her with love and respect. She brought in colorful sheets to brighten up her room. When the patient wanted to give special Christmas presents to her mother and daughter, Jill did the shopping and gift wrapping for her. When the patient’s daughter became pregnant, Jill helped to make sure she had some pretty maternity clothes. When the patient said she wanted to make sure her daughter would be able to take pictures of the baby (due in December of 2012), Jill cleaned up one of her own family cameras and brought it to her.
I told this patient about the DAISY Award and she agreed with me that Jill would be a wonderful candidate for the honor. Sadly, she became too ill to help me write this letter. She simply said about Jill, “I just love her so much.” Jill’s compassion and support stayed strong for the family after the patient passed away on September 26, 2012.
I was deeply touched to witness Jill’s skill and compassion as a hospice nurse. I will never forget her example of self-giving and service.